Graham Luney: Keane is on a road to nowhere

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

As a player, Roy Keane was a Ferrari — worth watching, though there was always the danger he would spin off the road.

Click here or click the image for the inside track on life under Roy Keane.

Life at the Tractor Boys has not gone swimmingly for the Manchester United legend, but as he’s a sensitive soul like myself, I am willing to offer Keano a shoulder to cry on.

As a Manchester United fan, Roy is probably my favourite Red Devil of all time.

And boy, could he be a devil as Alf-Inge Haaland found out in the 2001 Manchester derby.

But I admired Keane for his attitude on the pitch, rather than his ability. He was his manager’s hairdryer just a few yards away. If Keano’s name was on the team-sheet you had the feeling the team would not go down without a fight.

There is nothing that should annoy a football fan more than a player who is simply happy to go through the motions and walk off the pitch with a healthy bank balance.

As long as his ego is growing that little bit bigger, that’s all that counts. Roy had no time for that attitude — he was a winner who gave one million per cent and he despised anyone who failed to share his hunger for success.

On the pitch he was an inspiration, the leader who drove the team to incredible achievements including the unprecedented treble of the FA Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League in 1999.

His astonishing display against Juventus in Turin in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final will always be fondly remembered by United fans privileged to witness it.

Keane had received a yellow card that ruled him out of the final but after masterminding that unforgettable 3-2 win — hauling his team back from two goals down — he deserved to get his hands on that glittering trophy more than anyone.

That was Roy, the player. Sometimes a hated villain but so often a true hero.

You would think that the man who came from Cobh Ramblers would go on to become a successful manager, having worked alongside and learned from Sir Alex Ferguson.

But football management is all about man management and Keano’s tough talking, no-nonsense approach to life in the dugout is not working.

Fergie could strike a player in the face with a boot but he also knows when the time is right to put an arm around a shoulder.

A manager’s job is not simply a tactical one. He has to act like a mentor, a counsellor, a father. He has to know how to get the best out of a very diverse group of individuals.

And he must also hold his nerve and be able to handle pressure.

Keano is now losing his composure, a sure sign that he is on a slippery slope.

With his Ipswich Town team bottom of the Championship after losing to an injury-time goal at Barnsley, one brave hack asked Keane “Are you considering your future at the club?”

His eyes could not conceal the rage, as he told the BBC reporter: “I refuse to answer that question.”

Roy bit his lip with good reason. He has never been able to resist saying exactly what he thinks, whether to an under-performing team-mate, a journalist or the prawn sandwich brigade at Old Trafford.

But he then let rip at the hacks: “You’ve watched the game and nobody’s asked me about the bloody penalty — that about sums you up.”

Roy must have known the depressing writing was on the wall when Steve McClaren emerged as the shock front-runner to replace him!

The dreaded vote of confidence by the club's chief executive Simon Clegg has come and gone and time — a precious commodity football managers rarely possess — is running out.

After 11 games without a win, Ipswich's reclusive owner Marcus Evans may start gripping that axe.

The self-doubt that seemed to plague Keane when he was manager at Sunderland must have returned.

I’m a great believer in managers being given time — even Ferguson, the greatest of them all — found the road to greatness a little bumpy at the start.

But the former Manchester United fire-breather could walk before he is pushed.

As the vultures start circulating, it could simply be the case that a player every manager would love to have in his team was not destined to be a successful manager himself.

Sourced from: The Belfast Telegraph

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference